View Full Version : No pain in bar dips, pain in ring dips

Grissim Connery
02-02-2010, 10:32 AM
So i finished shoulder rehab about 4 months ago. since then my shoulders have gotten progressively better. the one thing that still aggravates my shoulders are ring support holds and ring dips. i always just assumed that it was this motion in general that hurt, but i just noticed the other day that doing bar dips actually makes my shoulders feel better in some ways. also supports on bars feel great too.

my hands dont' shake and wobble around on rings like when somebody gets on them the first time. instead, they appear steady, but i can feel the raw feeling up in my shoulders pretty quickly. some notes:

1. my pecs dont' feel engaged at all when i get on the rings. for some reason when i get on bars, my pecs engage just fine. if i try to squeeze my pecs while in ring supports, my shoulders just feel worse.

2. if i get into a ring support and prop my feet up on a block in front of me to make an L or a V, my chest begins to engage. i my shoulders then feel great.

3. in order to turn the rings all the way out in the support now, one of 2 things has to occur.
A. my shoulders stay engaged, but my forearms feel an intense stretch as they twist.
B. My shoulders rotate out, and feel crappy.

4. my shoulders are apparently hypermobile

5. light cross work (i'm a total newb here) feels much better than supports

my question? wtf? i think i could do weighted bar dips and feel great, and yet ring dips are a pain. obviously if something hurts, don't do it, but i'm getting tired of only using the hanging workouts with my rings and having to jump to bars to get my support work done.

please support my supports!

Steven Low
02-02-2010, 07:14 PM
See how the plank/pushup position with rings feels.

That will definitely start activating the chest right away.

It's likely something is going on there if it's not activating right away.

Is there any atrophy or very tight muscles in that region of the shoulder? Check your pec minor?

Strengthen your RC for the laxity.

Blair Lowe
02-03-2010, 09:42 PM
bars as in parallel bars, right not a single rail bar?

Grissim Connery
02-04-2010, 09:14 AM
yeah parallel bars, not single bar.

i'll get into the pushup position prob tomorrow on the rings, but from what i remember:

1. if i do a ring pushup with a pronated grip, my shoulders hurt if i keep my hands closer. if i go wide like a bulgarian and just barely break 90 degrees then my shoulders feel good and my chest engages.

2. supinated grip - if i keep good form then i feel a strong contraction in the pec minor/area under the clavical but directly juxtaposed to the shoulder, so it's kinda the chest but off to the side. this doesn't hurt at all and feel kinda good.

3. neutral grip - if my weight shifts forward like i'm doing a planche, then it feel good. if it shifts back then my shoulders dont' feel so good.

i dicked around two days ago and found something interesting. it seems like my triceps might be an issue. this makes sense when i think of bulgarians feeling better than closer grip stuff. if i focus hard and squeeze my triceps, it feels like my shoulders feel better and my chest feels a normal amount of pressure. the problem though is that i'm feeling some intense elbow pressure. i took it easy on them but tried to focus here.

possible theory: maybe in order to avoid elbow pressure and a tricep weakness, i compensated in the past with my shoulder flexibility and ended up injuring them?

Steven Low
02-04-2010, 05:36 PM
Were you the one with the winging scap and triceps problems?

I don't recall. What orthopedic/musculoskeletal issues have/did you/or have currently?

Grissim Connery
02-08-2010, 07:45 AM
my right shoulder is loose, while my left shoulder impinges. the right shoulder issue all started from smashing it hard into the floor while grappling 2 years ago. i think it was an AC issue. i think the left shoulder just tried to compensate too hard and went awry.

Steven Low
02-08-2010, 02:20 PM
Yet they still have the same neural issues. Interesting.

Well, here's what you can do:

1. Start strict isolation rotator cuff work.

2. Massage out your pec minor, and entire biceps region and anterior shoulder. Hit the coracobrachilis, biceps brachii and brachialis especially. Can use a basketball for the pec minor. Hit up the serratus anterior too for good measure.

3. Keep working your shoulder mobility.

4. Need to start doing some specific pec exercises and perhaps include some serratus work as well. Scap pushups are a good start -- focus on contracting the SA +Pec major during the top part.

Grissim Connery
02-09-2010, 01:24 PM
i just saw a video of the winging scapula. yikes! the bad part is that i used to do that sort of thing a lot with my shoulders. people used to ask me to do it a lot cause it looked so weird. back before my shoulders got really bad, i was working on straddle planches and could hold for a good amount of time. when form deteriorated though, my scapulas would slide into that winging position. that started to feel really bad after a while, like my humerus was jamming into the joint.

i just tried the scap pushups again. when i first tried these, they actually made my shoulders feel worse. i played with them a bit and realized that when i do the push the wrong way, i can move my shoulders a long distance but they feel terrible and i feel impingement pinching. when i do them the right way, it gives my arms and shoulders a nice warm feeling, but i can barely slide my arms any distance at all. i also feel a tight tug in the nether-region on the underside of the arm between the bicep and tricep (i'm guess this is a pec tendon or something?).

have i just been relying on my hypermobility in my shoulders for movement while they rubbed hard on the cuff muscles? is this supported by a lack of range of motion in the proper muscles?

Grissim Connery
02-09-2010, 01:25 PM
in terms of specific pec exercises, the main exercise i can think of (back from bodybuilding 8 years ago) that squeezed my pecs the hardest were cable flies. would this be optimal? maybe it can translate to rings a little bit....maybe not hah.

Blair Lowe
02-09-2010, 05:29 PM
Cable flies gymnastic style as in from a front/pushup position, extend out like a cross and pull back in?

Starting from here? http://www.gymnasticbodies.com/routine/WOD%20-%20091231.jpg

Steven Low
02-09-2010, 06:44 PM
Have you been to a physical therapist?

I can't see you personally but it sounds like you have more issues than just weak pecs and SA.

Sounds like your pecs just gave up compensating for your SA.

Instability in the scap can impinge on brachial plexus causing neurological symptoms. That's what's going on... now gotta stabilize and strengthen it...

Grissim Connery
02-10-2010, 11:24 AM
i did see a physical therapist for my shoulder rehab. to be honest though, i didn't get to finish the tail end because of money issues. i've almost got these handled, so i am looking to go back.

i did cable flies yesterday. i did feel quite a squeeze in my chest. my face actually got a lot redder than i would have thought. like more red than handstand pushups. the odd part was that i felt an almost painful squeeze in the sternum area. it was like those tendons were trying to pull so hard that it hurt. if i try to flex my pecs, i immediately feel this area get the same painful feeling.

my only history with injuries here is:
1. a year and a half ago i injured a rib while grappling. somebody was pressing their knee hard onto my chest (not good form, but it's a good way to be an asshole). i had to take it easy for a while until it relaxed.
2. i threw a really boney guy, and he landed on his side a bit. i kinda lost control and came down on top of him, with his sharp clavicle breaking my fall at my sternum. i had to take about 2 weeks off.

Steven Low
02-10-2010, 01:57 PM
Well, don't aggravate your chest. Massage it and ice if you need to.

Hmm, it's possioble that your body interpreted the impacts you've received as damage and switched off control of those muscles to prevent what it perceives as injury.

It's gonna suck trying to get reactivation though. Gotta squeeze a lot. Do it everyday everywhere -- squeeze your pecs and SA.

Grissim Connery
02-11-2010, 10:25 AM
i'm gonna feel like such a bodybuilder now. how embarrasing! in all seriousness, i felt dirty doing the cable flies the other day hah.

I read that a good method for activating the serratus is to do pushups with one hand elevated. i used to do these a lot. i tried them again and my pecs activate quickly compared to any other movement. i'm gonna GTG these for a while.

Steven Low
02-11-2010, 11:26 AM
Sounds good to me.

The more you practice, the better your body will get at activating the muscle.

Grissim Connery
03-18-2010, 10:49 PM
Update for anybody interested

I've gotten my shoulders to feel a lot better by doing a few things:

1. if having pain when contracting chest, take NSAIDS
2. weighted support holds in rings: once i start adding weight, my chest has to activate
3. intensive bicep stretching: i feel this is a huge part. normally when i try to stretch my biceps, i feel it in my forearm or shoulder and NOTHING in the bicep. i've found some ways to use a dowel more effectively, and just recently i've been able to start feeling some bicep stretch when i go against a wall. normally i feel that entirely in my shoulder.
4. plenty of work with pbar dips: if i just stick to ring dips, then the pain sometimes gets worse. i guess the bar dips helps some of the stabilizers rest while others get strengthened
5. cross pullouts (band assisted for now): this causes me to use the correct muscle groups when in support and dips and what not

my shoulders have been feeling better and better recently for certain exercises. i was able to do a pbar dip with 85# on a weight belt today. i attempted 100#, but to no avail. a little while ago i would not have even been able to wear a weight belt while on the pbars

Steven Low
03-19-2010, 06:29 AM
Sounds good... keep us updated..

If you have access to cables it may be a good idea to start doing D1/D2 flexion and extension work.